PSC 152 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Implicit-Association Test, Zygomaticus Major Muscle, Electrodermal Activity

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Published on 15 Jun 2020
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Implicit & Explicit Attitudes
Problems with self-reports
Unable - people may lack introspective access to operation of their own mental
processes
Unwilling - people may be motivated to answer in particular way because of
Self deception
Socially-desirable responding
* both are likely to be high for socially - sensitive topics
One solution - implicit/ indirect measures
Do not require introspective access
Designed to limit deliberate reasoning processes
Classes of implicit measures
1. Projective techniques
Ex: Thematic Apperception Task (TAT)
Problem w/ test → unreliable
2. Physiological measures
Ex: pupil dilation & skin conductance can measure arousal
Ex: facial EMG (muscle movements)
Zygomaticus major → smile → positivity
Corrugator supercili → frown → negative
Drawbacks - these tests are expensive
3. Response time (RT) measures
Ex: Implicit Association Test (IAT)
Logic of the IAT
When 2 concepts ARE associated in memory (ex: Coke & Good), it is EASY to
give the same response for words & images representing those concepts
When 2 concepts are NOT associated (ex: Coke & bad), it’s DIFFICULT to give
the same response for words & images representing those concepts
Ease of giving same response ≈ strength of association
Standard IAT
IAT score = RTs on Block 5 - RTs on Block 3
Higher values reflect an implicit “preference” for Coke over Pepsi
Frequently asked IAT questions
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Does the order of the blocks matter?
yes
Can responses be controlled or “faked”?
Yes & no
Are IAT scores a better reflection of the “true self” than self-reports?
Both IAT & self-reports reflect aspects of the true self
They just reflect different aspects of the true self
Are IAT SCORES influenced by learned “cultural” associations?
Implicit - reflects cultural associations
Reflects things we experience out in the world
Explicit self - report measures
Reflects a person’s personal beliefs
Things they are conscious about
They may be about beliefs we want to/should have
Other view
Argues that the cultural associations are a reflection of our
attitudes
IAT strengths & weaknesses
Strengths
easy/inexpensive to administer (5 min)
Flexible - can assess attitudes, stereotyping, self-esteem, etc.
Applicable in many areas within psychology (ex: clinical) and beyond (ex:
marketing)
Major weakness
Only assesses relative associative strength - can’t assess associations
with a single entity
* should NOT be used for selection decisions (ex: law enforcement jobs, juries,
etc.)
Single - category IAT
Single - Category IAT score = RTs on Block 2 - RTs on Block 1
Higher values reflect implicit positivity toward Coke
In what sense are implicit measures automatic?
Unaware?
People can predict their IAT scores (r = about .55)
Certainly more aware after taking IAT
Uncontrollable?
Very difficult to control directly
Evidence for indirect forms of control
Unintentional?
Intention on task is something other than evaluating object
Efficient?
Time pressure requires fast responding
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